Enthusiasm for the festival proves that even hurricanes looming off-shore are no match for the hearty PC party-goer --- eating, drinking, and dancing can all be found in abundance at the St. Paul Seafood Festival.
1997 --- Hurricane Danny
Organizing a festival event is an enormous task under normal circumstances, yet, with clouds looming, chairman Ken Reaver and his volunteer staff accomplished a seemingly impossible feat. St. Paul parishioners weren't about to let a little hurricane stop them from carrying out their mission - PARTY!!!
Friday's fireworks and entertainment were canceled, but the revelry started bright and early Saturday morning. As early as 6:00 a.m., St. Paul volunteers were at the site putting everything back together before the crowds flooded the gates.
Festivities started with a 5K road race and a 1 mile walk sponsored by the Gulf Coast Running Club. Even with a steady drizzle all day, the grounds were filled with a constant stream of die-hards. The smell of seafood cooking will always bring a crowd! Seafood lovers had their choice of Boiled Shrimp and Crab, Oysters, Fried Shrimp, Fried Fish, Crab Stuffed Potatoes, Seafood Quesadillas and Seafood Wraps, Shrimp on a Stick, Grilled Game Fish, Fried Crab Nuggets, and Shrimp, Oyster, or Fish Po-Boys.
Besides seafood, there were Hamburgers and Hot Dogs, Oriental Food, Barbecued Chicken and Sausage, and assorted appetizers. Entertainment on Saturday included a performance by the Diane Desporte Dance Academy and The Country Sounds band.
By Sunday, the skies seemed to be giving a little break. It was still overcast; however, the threat of rain was holding. Crowds started arriving promptly at noon and remained steady all day long. The entertainment started with ConspiraSea from noon until 4:00 pm with a variety of tunes, from country to southern rock. Most of the crowd seemed content to eat and kick back to listen awhile. Some ventured around the park, finding various treasures at the craft booths. Many of the younger ones were enthralled with the amusement park rides.
Around 7:30 that evening, the Relative Unknowns took the stage for the final set. Opening with Santana's "Black Magic Woman" brought the crowd to their feet. Several carefree souls began dancing to the beat of the inspiring harmony and instrumentals of the band. But then, the skies began turning black; and luck had run out --- there was a torrential downpour that ended the day.
2004 --- A Festive Weekend
Led by Chairman Chip McDermott and a league of trusted volunteers -- the 27th Annual St. Paul Seafood Fest became a reality. --- Always famous for its fresh seafood and other tasteful items. There was everything from gumbo, to po-boys, to shrimp and grits. And for those who wanted their food hot off the grill, there were hamburgers and hot dogs — backed up with Oriental foods.
While adults grabbed something to drink, they kept an eye on the kids who climbed the rock wall, rode the Ferris wheel, or got their faces painted.
For those on a budget there was a table full of items for only one dollar. Musical acts performed on the corner stage, while others tapped their feet on the freshly cut grass and danced.
The K.C.s offered an opportunity to win a $21,000 Harley Davidson V-Rod Motorcycle for the low cost of a raffle ticket — and also there were chances to bid one’s very own Brett Favre football jersey. The rain held out until late Sunday afternoon.